Best Road Race for Runners - 2005
Marathon of the Palm Beaches
OK, so it's an obvious choice, but so was West Palm Beach's scenic, sinuous Flagler Drive as the setting for the first marathon ever held in Palm Beach County. Flagler's tree-lined ribbon of asphalt uncoils alongside the Intracoastal and weaves through several historic neighborhoods, displaying some of the area's most appealing assets along the way. Although the weather last November 14 was far from the subtropical splendor race officials had hoped for, an almost totally level course kept the competition as fierce as the wind and rain. More than 3,500 competitors from 17 countries took the challenge, but it was Kenyan runner Charles Kibiwot who broke the tape, finishing the 26.2-mile course in just under two hours and 20 minutes. The marathon offered some unusual local color as well: Part-time Palm Beach resident Donald Trump supplied his Trump Ice bottled water to filling stations along the course, some of which were occupied by volunteers dressed as hula dancers and tie-dyed hippies. It all came together flawlessly, and a second marathon, this one open to 5,000 runners, is scheduled for early December.